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Housing First and its impact in B&NES

Since November 2018, Julian House has been delivering an exciting project which ensures the most vulnerable rough sleepers have a permanent home to call their own, and are able to move off the streets for good.

Housing First enables individuals with multiple and complex needs to begin recovery and move away from homelessness.

Housing First is an innovative new service in Bath and North East Somerset that meets the accommodation and support needs of the most complex rough sleepers. A partnership between Julian House, DHI and Curo has so far seen five people successfully housed in their own tenancies with another eight on the way.

What is Housing First?

Housing First is an internationally evidence-based approach, which uses independent, stable housing as a platform to enable individuals with multiple and complex needs to begin recovery and move away from homelessness. (Ref: Homeless Link)

Why is it so important?

Rough sleepers have traditionally moved through a model of crisis accommodation into supported housing in to their own tenancy. This works for the majority but for the most complex, entrenched rough sleepers, a supported housing environment can prove too overwhelming due to a number of issues including their own mental health, addiction and offending background. Women, in particular, can find mixed hostels too challenging to sustain. So the cycle of sleeping rough continues as a person’s health deteriorates and their support needs increase – the streets become harder to escape from.

Julian House support workers with one of our clients.

What does it mean for a rough sleeper?

Historically, rough sleepers have had to prove that they are ready to live independently; that they are engaging with services and able to meet a criteria. Whilst living on the streets or in and out of crisis accommodation – this is not always achievable. Many of the rough sleepers we work with have experienced trauma such as abuse and bereavement; which impacts on their resilience as adults. We embrace the fact that everyone is unique, and so we need to change the way we work in order to meet our clients’ needs.

Why in partnership?

Working in partnership with Curo and DHI means that the person moving into their new tenancy can receive good quality accommodation and services alongside specialist support. Sustaining the tenancy forever is the goal for everyone and each partner plays a unique and specialist part in ensuring the support needs of the person can be met and their tenancy is long lasting.

Find out more about our services and how we support people suffering from homelessness.